Why Do Dogs Cry In Their Sleep? Reasons Why Dogs Whine At Night

Have you ever been startled awake in the middle of the night by your dog crying? Or you've recently gotten a new pup and are overjoyed to have a cuddly pal by your side, but he won't stop whimpering and whining at night? There are several reasons to answer the question: "Why do dogs cry in their sleep?" and we are going to figure it out in this article today!

Reasons For Why Do Dogs Cry In Their Sleep

There are various reasons that make your dogs cry while sleeping, some of which are more alarming than others. 


The very first reason: why do dogs cry in their sleep? is that he is dreaming. Whimpering, weeping, and even growling are common during periods of increased brain activity. When your dog cries in his sleep, he is most likely dreaming about the happenings of the day. 

Even if your dog appears aggressive or uneasy, this does not always indicate that he is having a nightmare. Yes, dogs, like humans, may have terrible nightmares, and some stressful situations can cause them to cry. 

Why do dogs cry in their sleep - Piqsels

Source: Piqsels

It's impossible to know what our animal buddies are dreaming about. Even when it's a frightening dream, the practice should continue because dreaming is good for your dog’s mental health.

Dogs sleep for about half of the day, while puppies and older dogs sleep even more. 

Because the stages of a dog's sleeping pattern are remarkably similar to those of humans, you may anticipate your dog to experience deep sleep and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Whimpering occurs during the REM phase of sleep since they dream during this time.

The Behavior Of A Puppy

You should expect him to whine or weep when sleeping if you have a puppy. Crying and whining in the middle of the night is typical puppy behavior.

When pups are taken from their mother or littermates, they frequently scream or groan, even while sleeping. You must soothe your dog in this scenario in a way that does not encourage him to whimper.

Why do dogs cry in their sleep - Puppy Pet Tired Dog Animal Sleeping Sleep

Source: Max Pixel

Although it may be difficult to ignore a crying puppy, and you might just feel bad for doing so, it is critical. This will provide him with positive encouragement by making him believe he will be noticed if he continues to whine, resulting in the problem continuing.


Why do dogs cry in their sleep? Seizures or other neurological problems can cause twitching and crying while sleeping. At the same time, the sort of crying won't help you tell the difference between a dream and a seizure, the level of twitching will.

Your dog twitches when sleeping as well, but seizing dogs' kicking and paddling legs are far more hard and inflexible, making the actions look much more ferocious. After a seizure, the animals appear bewildered and tend to pant rapidly and slobber profusely.

Seizures are more common in dogs while they are awake or shortly after waking up, although they can also happen while sleeping.

Medical Issues Or Discomfort

Although your dog's nighttime whimpering might have more innocuous reasons, your dog may cry in his sleep due to painful health issues or discomfort. 

Bloating is one of the most distressing health issues that dogs face. Your dogs can get bloated for various causes, including inadequate diet, an insufficient eating schedule, and foreign bodies. A bloated dog will have trouble resting, especially if he sleeps on his stomach, since the discomfort is excruciating when the gas builds up.

Older dogs sometimes suffer from illnesses like arthritis, making it difficult to relax peacefully. Excessive crying might be caused by exerting pressure on the afflicted joints during sleeping or another issue related to his posture. 

Why do dogs cry in their sleep - Dog Sleep Nap Pompeii

Source: Pxfue

Due to their health difficulties, dogs who are older or have medical conditions may be more inclined to whimper at night than others.


Another reason why your dog cries while sleeping is boredom. Dogs require a great deal of excitement and a lot more activity. When your dog is bored with his routine, he may start whimpering in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.

Unfortunately, many owners are unable to satisfy their dog's activity requirements. Some dogs exhibit these feelings by closing their eyelids, giving the impression that they are sleeping while, in fact, they are completely awake. Allow your pet to release his energy in various ways, or else he will probably cry for attention.

Stress And Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety affects a lot of pets. Many dogs become too attached to their humans and begin crying when their owners are not around. While sleeping, the occasional whimpering may also be more common in dogs suffering from separation anxiety.

Why do dogs cry in their sleep - Dog Sleep Rest Preview

Source: Hippopx

Separation anxiety is a typical condition; it might lead to harmful behavior down the line. If you suspect that your dog's nighttime sobbing is due to separation anxiety, we recommend that you get therapy as soon as possible.

Separation isn't the sole cause of mid-night crying; any other trigger (such as thunderstorms) that makes your pet frightened and fearful might also evoke it. 

Lack Of Proper Training

The last explanation for the question: why do dogs cry in their sleep is due to sufficient behavioral training. If dogs aren't trained to stop crying and whining in the middle of the night, they can do so for the rest of their lives.

Although most dogs cease as they grow older, some do not. You can sign up for your dog in a behavior training class so you two can solve this problem together. 


Dreaming is the most common reason dogs whimper in their sleep, although seizures and discomfort should also be considered. You may hear whining due to boredom or worry while the dog is technically awake but drowsy.

We hope this article can answer your question: Why do dogs cry in their sleep?. Whining is a dog's means of informing its humans when something is wrong or that they want something. It's critical to determine the source of your dog's crying to know if it's a behavioral issue or a more severe health problem.

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Kenneth M Heim
Kenneth M Heim
I am a writer and editor for Got Omnia. I love road trips and good food, but take pictures of my food instead of eating it.